21 Dec 2017 17:07

Kremlin sees attempts of external pressure in run-up to elections, they are futile - Kiriyenko

MOSCOW. Dec 21 (Interfax) - There have been attempts to put pressure on public opinion in Russia from the outside in the election period, but they will be futile, the first deputy head of the Russian Presidential Administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, said.

"Will there be attempts at [applying] external pressure? Yes, certainly. And we see them today. Have there been attempts to somehow influence and interfere and try to pressure public opinion in the run-up to the election campaign? Of course, we see that," Kiriyenko told journalists on Thursday.

Such attempts have been recorded by the relevant commission of the Russian Federation Council, Kiriyenko said. "It's visible to the naked eye. Will this pressure on the people in this country produce anything? I am convinced it won't. I am sure Russian citizens will make their choice themselves and nobody will be able to interfere and put pressure there," he said.

Asked in what atmosphere he believes the election campaign has started, taking into account this external pressure on Russia, Kiriyenko said, "In the end, this is about choosing the country's future for six years, so what really matters above all is that everyone in the country should have the opportunity to exercise their constitutional right without entrusting their choice to anyone else."

Every Russian citizen should have the chance to exercise their constitutional right and "choose a future for the country, for themselves, and for their families on their own," he said.

"The CEC [Central Elections Commission] is doing all it can to this end, as well," he said.

"As to the external environment, the Russian president just spoke about this at the All-Russia People's Front forum. He said not many besides us need a strong Russia; in fact, few need it except ourselves. When Russia was weak, there were some illusions in this regard, but as Russia becomes stronger, many don't like it," Kiriyenko said.